Whether you’re just starting out in the freelance world or you’ve been at it for quite a long time, there’s one question to ask yourself that many people neglect to think about. Are you a freelancer or a consultant?
What’s the Difference?
A freelancer is a person who works on a project by project basis. They’re assigned a task to complete, they complete it and they get paid. They may have one or two primary clients or they may have dozens. A freelancer can also work for an individual or a business.
A consultant on the other hand is a person that a business or individual turns to for advice, expertise and help. They also are assigned a task and paid to complete it. However they’re given wiggle room within the project to use their skills and experience to help the client achieve their objectives.
For example, a freelance copywriter may write the copy exactly as a client has dictated. This includes the exact format, benefits and even call to action.
A consultant, on the other hand, will be asked what approach they recommend to sell a product or service. The client will trust them to make the best decisions for their sales copy.
Why Does It Matter?
There are benefits to being a freelancer only. For one, there are no heightened expectations. You’re not expected to be an expert in your industry. You’re just expected to complete a task. Freelancers don’t have the added stress of helping a client thrive and grow.
However, consultants benefit for a number of other reasons. They’re able to charge a lot more because of their expertise. Their clients are also often loyal and come back for their expert help time and time again. This means consultants may spend less of their time actually seeking clients and more time making money.
Which Is the Right Approach for You?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Each and every freelancer has their own reasons for being a freelance professional. They have their own goals and agenda. If you want to simply work part time and make some extra money, then maybe the idea of positioning yourself as a consultant just doesn’t make sense.
However, for those freelancers who are looking to build a solid full-time business, it makes sense to position yourself as a consultant.
How Do You Position Yourself as a Consultant?
One fantastic way is simply to publish, a lot. Become a guest blogger. Publish articles on your website and other websites. Write reports and ebooks and give them away. Publication helps establish authority and credibility. Also, participate in social networking sites and offer advice to those who need your help.
Finally, you can position yourself as an expert by simply offering advice and experience to your current clients when it’s appropriate. If you’re looking to grow your business and make more money, consider adding “consultant” to your list of services and watch your business boom.